Ranbu no Izayoi
Frankly, Izayoi was impressed, despite herself. Even considering how much slower she was compared to her prime, it was still quite the feat to actually come this close to ending her life. Of course, no amount of respect for this redheaded Skaelian's abilities would overrule the absolute fury she felt at herself for growing weak enough to allow such a blade to reach her. That fury influenced her next decision by a significant amount.
Out of spite, Izayoi only tightened her grip on her sword and drove it ever so slightly into the side of the man's neck to pierce skin, sneering at the new woman as her victim whimpered.
"Go on." She said quietly, her gaze unwavering. "Fire. My blade will still find its mark. Will you let your countryman die for this?" With so little left to live for besides vengeance, she felt no compunction about wagering her own life in this standoff. The rest of her party's actions were immaterial to Izayoi, even as she took note of them from the corner of her eye. In this moment, all that mattered were the next few seconds.
But the tension was cut with the Edrenian king finally moving to stop the brewing feud. Hmph. What an unsatisfying finish. Izayoi waited patiently for the first offender to back down before she looked back to Eliane.
"Your countryman threatened our compatriot's life first. I merely thought it appropriate to respond in kind." Was the only explanation Izayoi gave as she slowly lowered her sword from the man's neck, watching dispassionately as he ran off to rejoin his party. Judging by the sudden smell in the air, he may have even soiled himself. With everything settled, she deliberately turned her back on the Skaelian gunbreaker, meeting the gaze of the king's knights in challenge for a moment. For obvious reasons, it seemed several had their attention on her specifically. Once upon a time, she would have decided to rattle them a bit. But now, the prospect held little interest to her. So with a dismissive huff, Izayoi sheathed her sword, glancing back at Eliane briefly.
"Skaelian. Reaching my throat with a blade proves you are not without worth. Consider joining us, rather than those bleating fools." Her piece said, Izayoi started trudging back over towards her party.
"You are unharmed?" The samurai asked Neve as she approached, briefly looking over where the Unicorn idiot had pointed a blade at her. No apparent injuries. "Good. Try to get some rest." She advised, turning to return to their chambers herself. "The journey ahead will be long, and the roads are not without peril these days. It would be best to save your strength."
She started to walk off, but a particular thought ran through her mind. Ugh. Of course. They should have established this earlier.
"One last thing." Izayoi turned around to face the group. "We must establish a clear chain of command. One among us ought to lead." She took in a breath, closing her eyes. "It will not be me." If her regrets on her chosen path coalseced in a singular moment, it was the doomed last stand she'd dragged good, loyal men into to satisfy her own shattered pride. Never again. Her eyes opened, gazing at one person in particular.
"I nominate the dragoon. You have command experience, do you not, Lord?"
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